Honolulu Little League advanced to the Little League World Series Championship game with a 5-1 victory over Tennessee’s Nolensville Little League in the LLWS United States championship game on Saturday.

Honolulu will face Curacao’s Pabao Little League — the team that Ewa Beach’s West Oahu Little League topped in a classic 2005 championship game.

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Saturday’s game between Honolulu and Nolensville was far more competitive than the first meeting between the two teams, a 13-0 win for HNL on Wednesday.

Offensively, Honolulu continued to get production from its entire roster. On Saturday, pinch hitter Ruston Hiyoto had a pivotal two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning that doubled Honolulu’s lead from two to four runs.

Cohen Sakamoto got the win for Honolulu with 4.2 innings of two-hit ball, allowing one unearned run with seven strikeouts. Luke Hiromoto got the final four outs on the bump. Because Hiromoto threw under 20 pitches, he is eligible to come back and pitch on Sunday.

Honolulu won on Saturday despite not using its ace pitcher, Jaron Lancaster, who has not appeared on the mound since Monday. He is expected to get the start on Sunday.

First pitch between Hawaii and Curacao is 9 a.m. HST on Sunday on ABC.

Sunday will mark Honolulu Little League’s first appearance in the Little League World Series championship game since 2018, back when it topped Seoul South Little League of South Korea 3-0. The 2022 team, like the 2018 team, is coached by manager Gerald Oda. Coaches Willis Kato and Keith Oda (Gerald’s brother) were also part of the 2018 and 2022 staffs.